Whole-house ventilation systems provide much-needed fresh air for homes that are buttoned up to save energy, which is common for new-home construction and homeowners that have performed efficiency upgrades.
The traditional methods for home ventilation, like opening windows and doors for natural ventilation or leaving kitchen and bathroom fans running continuously for spot ventilation, aren’t effective enough in tight homes and can be quite unpleasant when outside temperatures are too cold or hot.
The most effective and energy-efficient ventilation method for Northern Michigan homes is whole-house ventilation with a HRV (heat recovery ventilator) or ERV (energy recovery ventilator).
Whole-house ventilation options
HRVs and ERVs are mechanical systems that utilize your home’s ductwork for whole-house air distribution and employ a heat exchanger to minimize heating and cooling costs when there are significant indoor and outdoor temperature differences.
During Northern Michigan’s heating months, the cold supply air absorbs heat inside the heat exchanger from the warmer stale air that’s being exhausted. The opposite heat exchange takes place during the cooling months. This lightens the load for your heating and cooling systems, resulting in less energy consumption while you enjoy fresh air any time of year.
The difference between HRVs and ERVs is moisture control. ERVs help control humidity inside your home by transferring moisture between the supply and exhaust airstreams inside the heat exchanger. A wall-mounted control panel monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity and adjusts ventilation for greatest efficiency.
Increasing indoor humidity during the dry winter months helps alleviate discomforts of dry sinuses, itchy skin and sore throat and can help put a stop to painful static-electric shocks. During the cooling months, humid supply air transfers moisture to the exhaust air, which helps reduce indoor humidity.
On the other hand, if you’re not bothered by seasonal humidity changes, a HRV whole-house ventilation system will perform just fine. It’s best to discuss your options with your HVAC professional.
If you have any questions about whole-house ventilation, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing today. We provide service and installation for homeowners in Grand Traverse County and surrounding areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about whole-house ventilaton and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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